Official Review: Adam's Creatures, or the Book of Robots

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JKO
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Official Review: Adam's Creatures, or the Book of Robots

Post by JKO »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Adam's Creatures, or the Book of Robots" by Robert J Betts.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Just as humans are created in the image of God, robots with artificial intelligence are created in the image of humans. That being said, can machines think? Should they learn to imitate human behaviors? This piece of non-fiction explores the answers to the above questions while confronting all humans, especially robot developers, with a warning as to the inevitable horrors that could take place if we achieved robots with intelligence levels of apes or humans.

In Adam's Creatures, Or The Book Of Robots, the author, Robert J. Betts, starts by citing various automatons that existed both in mythical western antiques and various fantasy, horror, and science fiction films of the past. He discusses how the research made by different scientists aided them in obtaining information on how robots mimicked the behavior of small animals as well as their contributions in the laboratory and the exploration of space. He then talks about the exponential growth and moral issues of robotics within human environments.

When I read the description of this book, I was very excited because I relished the opportunity to learn more about robotics, which was what my undergraduate thesis was based on, although my project only sought to provide a balancing system for the robot using gyroscope technology. I was not disappointed in my quest for further knowledge, as this book opened my eyes to various researches that were carried out by certain individuals to facilitate better human-robot interaction. For example, I was pleased to learn about Claude Shannon's paper called, “A Mathematical Theory of Communication.” Also, the robot, BigDog, piqued my interest because it has a ring laser gyroscope for inertial guidance.

Furthermore, I was pleased to see that the author structured his message well and explained all his points in detail. I was happy to see that the author included images and flow charts, especially when he talked about the different robots that were developed in the past. This made me have a better appreciation for its features, as I had a clear picture of exactly what they looked like. I was also refreshed to see the illustrations. Additionally, it was nice to see that the author included an appendix that had some background information on topics like classical mechanics and probability, that one needed to know before studying robot kinematics or artificial intelligence. This will make this read relatable to people who want to learn about robots but have no prior knowledge about it.

Despite the positives, I dislike that the author often digressed by explaining certain phenomena that were not related to the topic. For example, when he tried to relate Shannon's entropy to mathematical entropy, he elucidated the concept of mathematical entropy, and he deviated to explicate what entropy meant in terms of classical thermodynamics. While it was important to highlight the difference between mathematical and thermodynamic entropy, I felt that he didn't need to explain the latter. The extra information made the text cumbersome.

Also, this book seems like it is professionally edited, as I found only a few minor grammatical or typographical errors. However, there were a few places where the text was difficult to read as a result of the lack of punctuation marks. The book contained absolutely no profane language. With the pros and cons in mind, I have decided to take off one star and rate this book 3 out of 4 stars, and I recommend it to people who are interested in robots and how they interact with humans.

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Adam's Creatures, or the Book of Robots
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Elvis Best
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Post by Elvis Best »

I'm not really into robots, but this book sounds like a good read for those interested in that subject. Thanks your thorough review.
"People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within." -Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

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Rubbi
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Post by Rubbi »

Robotics has been an interesting topic in the modern world. The book sounds like a compelling contemporary read.

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gabrielletiemi
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Post by gabrielletiemi »

I'm really into books about technology, robots, and artificial intelligence. I liked the fact that this book explains everything making it possible for people who never read about the subject to learn it. Thanks for the great review!

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AFoster20
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Post by AFoster20 »

Not most appealed to robots myself but something I would have to say is that this book sounds intriguing. It's something that can be related to the modern world. The creativity in the storyline is what will catch the readers eyes the most
Last edited by AFoster20 on 22 Jun 2020, 16:57, edited 1 time in total.

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Kelyn
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Post by Kelyn »

I think anyone who is heavily into sci-fi (which I am) has encountered, and perhaps pondered on, the potential for artificially intelligent machines (i.e., robots) to surpass their creators. That's, in large part, what drove Asimov to create the three laws of robotics. I was delighted to see that the author had used sci-fi novels as his initial point of reference for the book! I may give this one a look, but I'm afraid the over-explanatory tendency of the author might not lead me to finish it. Thanks for the excellent review!

Seroney_
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Post by Seroney_ »

That's an excellent pickup line in the intro. Great review!

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LinaJan
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Post by LinaJan »

It sounds like a well-rounded overview of AI both potential and potential dangers. I may give it a try :)

Thank you for such a thorough review! :)

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Christieee
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Post by Christieee »

This brings a whole new perspective to robotics and technology. It looks like an informative and intriguing read.

Thank you for your great review.

Priyanka2304
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Post by Priyanka2304 »

The future would be a world of Artificial Intelligence. This book seems to bring fun and interesting facts that one could expect. Thanks for the review.

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